Some time ago, Rian Treanor’s music appeared in a DJ set by Björk. The presence of a track by the British musician on the menu of an evening hosted by our favourite extraterrestrial diva confirms the profound originality of his work. The seal of approval he received from the Icelandic-Martian could only be affixed to a work from a distant and unknown galaxy.
The extraordinary character of Treanor’s compositions was accentuated following a trip to Africa two years ago. He’d had been invited to perform at the Nyege Nyege Festival, an electronic music event held in Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria. He ended up staying there for a month, to collaborate with local musicians and immerse himself in the ultra-fast electro rhythms of singeli, a genre that originated in Tanzania. Combining these African influences with less lo-fi, European-style IDM, Treanor delivers one of the most innovative electro albums this year.
From “Hypnic Jerks” and its backfiring machine-gun blasts, it’s obvious that this is musical terra incognita. The hyper-saturated sound spectrum and the impetuousness of the rhythms don’t afford a single second of respite. On the excellent “Closed Curve” – one of the key moments of the record – we have the impression that traditional percussion joins the madness of the party. Then it ends on a more soothing note with “Orders from the Pausing” which, despite the ever-faster rhythmic flow, gives the listener a feeling of tranquillity due to its less charged atmosphere.
In his own words, Rian Treanor is having fun testing the limits of dance music made for clubs. He does it brilliantly.